New federal rule bans smoking in public housing

New federal rule bans smoking in public housing

The U.S. Centers for Disease and Control Prevention has estimated the smoking ban could save housing agencies $153 million annually in lower healthcare costs, fewer fires and less costly maintenance.

An East Harlem public housing complex in New York City.

The rule bans cigarettes, cigars, pipes and hookahs (or water pipes) but not e-cigarettes in all living units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of housing and office buildings. "That's why HUD's rules are critical", said Monica Valdes Lupi, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission.

"This new rule is a clear win for our children", he added, "and a big win for families that will live in safer and healthier communities because of our new smoke-free rule".

More than 700,000 units across the USA are expected to be affected by the new rule, according to HUD.

Sward said they would have preferred the ban to include electronic cigarettes and federally subsidized housing.

The Minnesota Department of Health says the state is "well positioned" to offer smoke-free living to all public housing residents, with smoking restrictions already in place at most public housing buildings and grounds.

"We don't see this as a policy that is meant to end in a whole lot of evictions".

"I am convinced that no matter the political persuasion of the administration, the public health benefit to this policy is tremendous and the resident support for going smoke-free is so tremendous that this rule will stick and that public housing will go smoke-free and remain smoke-free", he said. "We're confident that public housing authority staff can work with residents so that that can be avoided".

He said smoke-free housing is especially important for children.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro said he was optimistic the Trump administration would not "roll back" the rule.